alwatanvoice.com is reporting today that the Palestinian Swimming and Aquatic Sports Federation recognized the Palestinian Paralympic Committee (PPC) swimming report for activities planned in 2015.
The plan was discussed at a meeting in the Gaza Strip, where the activities of 2014 were first reviewed. Following this, an agreement was made that during 2015, the goal was to have classification sessions where swimmers can get classified, hold at least two swimming training sessions separated by gender, hold training sessions for officials and coaches, have advanced fitness training sessions, hold first aid courses, create training materials for facilities on how to work with people who have disabilities that will be distributed by August. They also agreed to have meetings every two weeks to update progress on the plan.
Palestine made its Paralympic début at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, with a male and female athletics competitor. While competing at every Summer Games since then, they have never had a delegation larger than 2 and never in swimming.
Like other disability sport organizations in the region, the Palestinian Paralympic Committee has faced some challenges. They were recognized by the IPC in 1997. In November 2012, the PPC headquarters were destroyed as a result of shelling that hit the building and infrastructure. In January 2014, long time President Akram Okkeh died.
Palestinian Swimming and Aquatic Sports Federation has itself faced a number of challenges. The organization was not created until 1993. They had their first swimmers compete at the Olympic Games in 2000, which followed an area of professionalization by the organization. Swimmers from the country were back at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Historically, they have had little access to money to fund swimmer training on the elite level, and relying on other countries like Morocco for support. There has also been historical and cultural pressure on the organization to not take support from Israel when it has been offered.